The Wife’s Crowning Duty ~ Fidelity

From True Womanhood by Fr. Bernard O’Reilly, 1894

The home is the nursery of the nation, and the deep and sacred love that binds into one existence the hearts and lives of husband and wife, is the soul of the home life. Everything which tends to lessen, to divide, to sully that sacred union of hearts, strikes at the very life of the family and aims at upsetting the foundations of the moral world.

The sacred virtue, the immaculate honor of every family, is inseparable from the purity and perpetuity of the love pledged to each other by both parents; more especially, in universal estimation, is the family honor dependent on the inviolable fidelity of the mother toward him to whom she gave her early love.

Hence the deep significance of the prayer of the church in the solemn ceremony of marriage. She who had proposed to the imitation of all wives the undivided and unalterable love which she ever bears to Christ, her Spouse,—who gives them in her inviolable and eternal fidelity to him, to his honor and interests, the model of the true woman’s unwavering, sustained, and devoted fidelity to her husband,—makes of this notion the central point in her magnificent marriage ritual.

Throughout all ages known to history, the most refined peoples have looked upon the ring as the symbol of eternity —as the proper emblem, therefore, of the union of souls underlying the matrimonial contract.

The Ring: Symbolic of Eternal Fidelity

When the Church has witnessed and sanctioned by her blessing the mutual and solemn pledge given by bride and bridegroom, she proceeds to bless a ring, which is given to the bride as a symbol and seal of the union into which she has entered, and of the enduring fidelity with which she is to feed the sacred fire of mutual affection and to watch over the honor of her hearth-stone.

“Bless, O Lord, this ring,” such is the prayer, “which we bless in thy name, in order that she who wears it, by preserving unbroken fidelity to her husband, may continue in peace and the accomplishment of thy will, and also ever live in mutual charity.”

Where the beautiful ceremonial is carried out in its intended fullness, the nuptial benediction is followed by the offering of the adorable sacrifice. Christ comes down on the altar, who so loved the Church, his Bride, that he ” delivered himself up for it, that he might sanctify it, cleansing it by the laver of water in the word of life, that he might present it to Himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.”

There, at that altar and in that presence, kneel the two for whom the Savior God comes down, his hands filled with blessing for these his children beginning life together, and his heart overflowing with untold treasures of grace,— so needful to them on their pathway of pain and labor.

But there is more than this; the Church breaks in on the most solemn portion of the liturgy,—that between the consecration and communion,—to pronounce a further blessing on the bride.

Turning toward the newly-married, the priest, as if his hands were laden with the blessings brought from on high, and his lips touched with the hallowed fire to prophesy good things to the suppliants prostrate there, thus prays:

“0 God, who by thy might didst create all things out of nothingness; who, having ordered the first stages of this universe, and made man to the image of God, didst make man’s substance the principle of woman’s being, that she should thus be his inseparable companion, teaching us thereby that a union originating in such unity may never be broken without crime;

O God, who didst hallow this conjugal union by so surpassing a grace as to make the primitive nuptial alliance the prophetic figure of the mysterious union of Christ with the Church;

God, by whom woman is thus united to man, and the primordial society thus formed is endowed with a blessing which alone survived the punishment of original sin and the judgment executed through the deluge;

look down propitiously on this thy handmaiden, who, about to begin her companionship with her husband, beseeches Thee to grant her Thy protection: in her may the yoke of love and peace ever abide;

faithful and chaste, may she wed in Christ, and be evermore the imitator of holy women: may she prove lovely to her husband, like Rachel; wise, like Rebecca; long-lived and faithful, like Sara;

may the fell Author of (Eve’s) prevarication find no trace in her of the actions which he counsels; may she be immovably attached to thy faith and law: the spouse of one man, may no other love ever touch her;

may she school and shield her own weakness by home-discipline: may she be modest and dignified, chaste and venerable, enlightened by wisdom from on high; . . . may she win approval by her stainless life, and thus attain to the rest of the blessed and the heavenly kingdom.” * * The Roman Missal in the ” Nuptial Mass.”

“It is amazing how, with time, the soul comes to dominate the body. Selfish people get the hard, selfish look. Generous people grow more physically attractive each day. People with the peace of God’s friendship develop expressions that instantly attract and constantly charm. A mouth that speaks kindly becomes a beautiful mouth. Hands that serve generously become characterful hands. Eyes that look out for affection on mankind are eyes that radiate an inner beauty not difficult to find.” -Fr. Daniel A. Lord

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A Rule of Life for a Catholic woman, no matter what walk of life she may be in, is very valuable. It will save her from caprice and will help her to accomplish much in her vocation and her personal journey of sanctity…

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The rosary, scapulars, formal prayers and blessings, holy water, incense, altar candles. . . The sacramentals of the Holy Catholic Church express the supreme beauty and goodness of Almighty God. The words and language of the blessings are beautiful; the form and art of statues and pictures inspire the best in us. The sacramentals of themselves do not save souls, but they are the means for securing heavenly help for those who use them properly. A sacramental is anything set apart or blessed by the Church to excite good thoughts and to help devotion, and thus secure grace and take away venial sin or the temporal punishment due to sin. This beautiful compendium of Catholic sacramentals contains more than 60,000 words and over 50 full color illustrations that make the time-tested sacramental traditions of the Church – many of which have been forgotten since Vatican II – readily available to every believer.

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” Published 80 years ago, this Catholic classic focuses on the Christian family and uses as its foundation the1929 encyclical “On Christian Education of Youth” coupled with the “sense of Faith.” Addressing family topics and issues that remain as timely now as they were when the guide was first published, “The Christian Home” succinctly offers sound priestly reminders and advice in six major areas…

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The Strength of Obedience ~ Beautiful Girlhood

Painting by Carl von Burgen ~ 1853

from Beautiful Girlhood by Mabel Hale

The girl who comes to perfect womanhood must learn to be obedient. Her whole life must be governed, not by whim or pleasure, but by right and duty. Her first lessons of obedience are learned at home. She becomes aware that all things are not for her personal convenience and pleasure, but that she must do her part in service, restraint, and sacrifice, that home may be orderly and happy.

Her parents give her many and various commands. Some of them seem hard and unnecessary. They interfere with her desires and plans, and the temptation to disregard them as far as possible is great.

She feels hampered and bound and unable to carry out her designs. But she who is building good character takes heed to the commands given her, whether good or bad, and receives the admonitions and reproofs which come her way, governing herself by them, because it is right that she do so.

This lesson of obedience in spite of the rebellion in the heart is not learned all at once. But every girl does not have the same hard battle with it.

Here is one point where she who is blessed with a humble and submissive nature has the advantage. She can do quite naturally what her willful and rebellious sister will have to struggle hard to accomplish.

Many girls are like my little friend Betty. Betty was willful by nature, and obedience came hard. She had been exceptionally willful in a certain matter, and her father had reproved her sharply, cutting off privileges that Betty valued very much. She felt angry and rebellious against her father for the penalty that he had exacted, and unburdened her heart to her mother in angry little bursts.

Her mother answered, “We will not discuss Father now. You are angry and cannot think clearly. But you will confess that it is not impossible for you to obey to the letter all that he has required. What your rebellious nature needs, my daughter, is to be compelled to obey, and you are the one to do it. The commandment has been given you, and if you want to be victor obey it exactly, for your own soul’s good. It is the easiest way out of your difficulty, and the best thing for your development.”

Betty had the good sense to see this, and though her heart did yet rebel, she said, “I shall do that.” And she found the hardest part of her punishment was over when she had brought down her stubborn spirit.
Obedience is never outgrown. It is not merely a requirement of childhood, but is just as necessary in later years. After a girl leaves the care of her parents and teachers she remains yet the servant of duty.

In fact, the more she is thrown upon her own responsibility the more loudly duty speaks to her, becoming either a tyrant exacting obedience from an unwilling heart, or a good friend and guide leading on to right, just as the girl takes it.

There were long stretches in Betty’s childhood and youth in which the girl did practically as she desired to do. She followed the dictates of her own free will. It is true that to do this she had to keep within the bounds of law and order; but she found that no bondage.

Now, however, since duty beckons her she is pressed on every side. There is scarcely any time she can call her own. She must do her duty or lose her own self-respect. She has duty to herself, to her family, to her friends, to the church, to her community, and to her God.

If she has not learned obedience and rebels at service she will find her life hard indeed; but if she wills to do her duty and obeys from choice the commands of her stern mistress, then she will be happy in just doing her duty.

There is rare pleasure in obedience. The answer of a good conscience brings into the heart a peace and satisfaction that nothing can destroy. The girl who can fold her hands at night with the knowledge that throughout the day she has been obedient to God and right, finds in life a gladness and quietness that nothing else can bring.

If you would be happy through life and make a success of the years which will be given to you, learn now in your girlhood to obey, to bring yourself under control, where reason rules, not mere whim or fancy.

And the responsibility of this discipline dare not be left to parents and teachers. The girl who really learns obedience must take herself in hand and be a conqueror. Others can compel your servile obedience, but only you can bring to your heart true, God-fearing obedience. Only true obedience uplifts and enlightens and makes life noble. Be your own mistress, bringing yourself into obedience.

“Eve, by her disobedience, tied the knot of disgrace for the human race; whereas Mary, by her obedience, undid it”. St. Irenaeus
“What are these knots?
There are the problems and struggles we face for which we do not see any solution … knots of discord in your family, lack of understanding between parents and children, pornography, disrespect, violence, the knots of deep hurts between husband and wife, the absence of peace and joy at home.
There are also the knots of anguish and despair of separated couples, the dissolution of the family, the knots of a drug addict son or daughter, sick or separated from home or God, knots of alcoholism, the practice of abortion, depression, unemployment, fear, solitude…
Ah, the knots of our life! How they suffocate the soul, beat us down and betray the heart’s joy and separate us from God.”
Here is the prayer to Mary, “Undoer of Knots”
“Virgin Mary, Mother of fair love, Mother who never refuses to come to the aid of a child in need, Mother whose hands never cease to serve your beloved children because they are moved by the divine love and immense mercy that exists in you heart, cast your compassionate eyes upon me and see the snarl of knots that exist in my life.
You know very well how desperate I am, my pain and how I am bound up by the Knots.
Mary, Mother to whom God entrusted the undoing of the knots in the lives of his children, I entrust into your hands the ribbon of my life.
No one, not even the Evil One himself, can take it away from your precious care. In your hands there is no knot that cannot be undone.
Powerful Mother, by your grace and intercessory power with Your Son and My Liberator, Jesus, take into your hands today this knot… I beg you to undo it for the glory of god, once and for all. You are my hope.
O my Lady, you are the only consolation God gives me, the fortification of my feeble strength, the enrichment of my destitution and with Christ the freedom from my chains.
Hear my plea
Keep me, guide me, protect me, o safe refuge.”
Painting by Nellie Edwards,

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This is a unique book of Catholic devotions for young children. There is nothing routine and formal about these stories. They are interesting, full of warmth and dipped right out of life. These anecdotes will help children know about God, as each one unfolds a truth about the saints, the Church, the virtues, etc. These are short faith-filled stories, with a few questions and a prayer following each one, enabling the moral of each story to sink into the minds of your little ones. The stories are only a page long so tired mothers, who still want to give that “tucking in” time a special touch, or pause a brief moment during their busy day to gather her children around her, can feel good about bringing the realities of our faith to the minds of her children in a childlike, (though not childish), way. There is a small poem and a picture at the end of each story. Your children will be straining their necks to see the sweet pictures! Through these small stories, parents will sow seeds of our Holy Catholic Faith that will enrich their families all the years to come!

This revised 1922 classic offers gentle guidance for preteen and teenage girls on how to become a godly woman. Full of charm and sentiment, it will help mother and daughter establish a comfortable rapport for discussions about building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, a pure heart, and a consecrated life.

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Teaching Your Child About Work

by Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

Avoid doing unnecessary work on Sunday

 One of the effects of the war effort was to accustom people who worked odd shifts in factories to doing a full day’s work on Sunday, either in the shop or catching up on the laundry and house-cleaning at home.

This has carried over into postwar years, so that now we find people saving work for Sundays. Nevertheless, if it isn’t absolutely necessary to work on Sunday, then it’s a violation of the Third Commandment to do so.

But what about the family (ours, for instance) for whom Sunday is the only day the father has free? If we’re to have a garden, the largest part of the gardening must be done on Sundays.

We know families who can work only on Sundays on the houses they’re building. This kind of work, dedicated to a richer family life, with a direct relation to our service of God, seems to me an important means of sanctifying Sunday, if it’s necessary to do it on Sunday.

But we must not let our children become confused. If we must garden or build on Sunday, we can make a special act of dedication, asking God to bless our work, understanding that if it could be done otherwise, it would be.

Avoid using work as a punishment

There are two cardinal don’ts about children and work: don’t ask children to do so much work that they miss their fair share of play; and don’t ever use work as a punishment.

Children, like adults, will work better between periods of rest or play, and they need a far greater portion of play than grown-ups do. Cheated of play, they easily become embittered about all work; they, too, will decide that work is a curse.

It’s easy to avoid this abuse if it’s understood that such and such is the work to be done, and done well, after which their time is free for play.

To punish a child by making him work is asking for trouble. Then work becomes synonymous with unpleasantness and resentment, and all subsequent sermons on the dignity of work are going to go in one ear and out the other.

Even young children can pray for insight into discerning their vocations

Praying for the grace to know his vocation goes hand in hand with teaching a child to work. We can help children send out vocational feelers by watching for signs of gracefulness and enthusiasm with particular types of work.

There’s something very intriguing about knowing one has a vocation picked out for him by God and watching to see it unfold.

Little girls will want to be nuns one day, mothers the next, and ballet dancers the next. It’s utterly reasonable, then, to include in one’s prayers, “‘Please, Blessed Jesus, help me to know if I am to be a nun, a mother, or a ballet dancer.”

And the days when they decide it’s “mother” they’re supposed to be, it’s a handy suggestion to be reminded to ask God for help finding the right “father.”

Other people have wasted their entire lives trying to find their vocations. It isn’t too early to begin praying in childhood; and if one’s vocation is to be motherhood, then fathers are a most essential part!

Family prayer about vocations helps parents to keep hands off in the matter of following in Father’s footsteps, or being a lawyer because “I’ve always hoped for a son who would be a lawyer.” It helps level opposition to the first signs of a religious vocation, or the indication that early marriage is best for this girl or this boy.

It helps those who may one day become highly trained professional men and women to respect the more humble occupations of their less-gifted brothers and sisters.

Doctors, lawyers, scientists, and engineers could not do their work, for all their gifts and training, without the men and women who make their instruments, string their telephone wires, raise their food, and build their laboratories and offices.

And when we remember that Christ chose to be a carpenter, we dare not allow any of our children to cultivate any snobbishness about the unimportance of “workmen.”

Perhaps the lesson it takes longest to teach is reverence for work; this is an attitude that comes slowly, with maturity. It’s the final ingredient in the making of a good workman.

We can begin when the children are little by teaching them to notice the properties of materials, consider their source, think of the intelligence of mind and dexterity of hands that are needed to transform them into beauty and usefulness. As our children watch us work, we can point out these things as symbols of spiritual reality.

For instance, yeast. Yeast is a powerful and mysterious plant, microscopically small yet capable of lifting a mountain of dough. Scald it, and it will die. Chill it, and it’s inactive. Mix it with lukewarm water or milk, with the proper amounts of sugar and salt, fat and flour, knead it rhythmically on a floured board, and it springs to life and is the unifying principle of bread.

How like grace, which, scalded by passion, will die; chilled by indifference, will remain inactive; accepted with gratitude and love, used by the heart and mind and will, will transform souls into more perfect Christians, bearing more effectively their part in the restoring of society to Christ.

A father and son planting a garden work with the symbols of eternal life. Seeds, like self-love, must be buried and seem to die before they will spring to life and bear fruit. Rain, like grace, must water them. The sun, like God’s love, must warm them. Weeds, like sin, must be rooted out.

This is how Christ taught. The parables He used to teach His followers are under our very noses. Following His example, teaching with our own parables as well, we slowly communicate reverence, and when finally they’ve learned this, they will be men and women who know it’s not a curse, but a blessing, to work.

“The world is burning; now is not the time to be talking of unimportant things.” ~St. Teresa of Avila.
Faced with all this, however, we should not get anxious. On the contrary, we should be more and more trusting and childlike and peaceful. Mary is the Queen of Peace, and the more crisis-stricken the world is, the more we must be at peace and receive God’s peace, for we can be certain of His love and faithfulness. -The Way of Trust and Love, A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux, Fr. Jacques Philippe

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Happy Feast of St. Francis of Assisi!

Saint Francis of Assisi
Feast day: October 4
Patronage: animals, the environment, Italy, merchants, stowaways
Francis was born into the privileged life of a nobleman. Eventually, by the grace of God, the worldly desires no longer satisfied him; he desired a simpler life with his love for poverty, nature, and simplicity. Eventually, he founded the religious order of Franciscans, whose brothers preached the gospel, made poverty holy, and worked hard to bring the word of God to the world that desperately needed it. He is known as the first person to receive the stigmata. ~Portrait of Saints


Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for making jewelry or rosaries by hand. Frequently, in this approach, a wire is bent into a loop or other decorative shape and then the wire is wrapped around itself to finish the wire component making that loop or decorative shape permanent. Because of this technique for wrapping wire around itself this craft is called wire wrapping. Not only is it quite beautiful but it makes the rosaries sturdy and durable. Available here.

This revised 1922 classic offers gentle guidance for preteen and teenage girls on how to become a godly woman. Full of charm and sentiment, it will help mother and daughter establish a comfortable rapport for discussions about building character, friendships, obedience, high ideals, a cheerful spirit, modest dress, and a pure heart.

Following in the footsteps of the popular Let’s Have a Tea Party! Book, Emilie Barnes introduces children to good manners. Fascinating facts explain why we follow certain rules, and helpful hints demonstrate courtesy in a child-friendly way.

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“Despite My Littleness…” – St. Therese, the Little Flower

Happy Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux!

by Father Jacques Philippe, The Way of Trust and Love – A Retreat Guided by St. Therese of Lisieux

Thérèse wanted to be a saint not out of ambition or vainglory, but in order to love God as much as he can be loved. That is completely in accordance with the Gospel.

She also very much wanted to be useful to the Church, and she felt that the only way she could do that was by aiming for holiness with all her strength.

But … alas, I have always realized, when I compared myself to the saints, that there is between them and me the same difference as exists between a mountain whose summit is lost in the heavens, and the obscure grain of sand trodden underfoot by passers-by.

Thérèse very soon realized that what she wanted was impossible. Despite all her good will and her ardent desires, she was quickly brought face-to-face with her limitations and had the feeling that her desire for holiness was inaccessible, unrealizable. She felt as though there were the same distance between that ideal of holiness and what she could actually do as between a high mountain and a grain of sand.

It should be said that at the time she lived, at the end of the nineteenth century, people still tended to identify the idea of sainthood with the kind of exceptional perfection that involved heroic enterprises, extraordinary graces, etc.

Thérèse felt an insuperable distance between that model and what she was in her everyday life. Her words should be taken very seriously. She was faced with a real difficulty and unquestionably went through a real inner crisis. The temptation in that kind of situation is discouragement: I’ll never get there!

How did Thérèse react? She goes on:

Instead of getting discouraged, I said to myself: “God could not inspire us with desires that were unrealizable, so despite my littleness I can aspire to holiness.”

Here is a very beautiful aspect of Thérèse’s spiritual personality: her great simplicity, her trust in God. If God has put this desire in me—and I’ve had it for years, that’s why I entered Carmel—then it must be realizable. The desire has always been with me. It can’t be an illusion, because God is just in all his ways.

We are looking at one of the paradoxes of Thérèse’s life: on the one hand, great psychological weaknesses and great sufferings; but despite this, on the other hand, always great desires.

Lest we idealize Thérèse, recall what she was like at almost fourteen, before the healing grace that came to her at Christmas 1886.

She was a very intelligent little girl, but she had not followed a normal school life because she could not adapt to the school run by Benedictine sisters to which she had been sent. She was hypersensitive, very dependent on others, and had an enormous need for gratitude.

When she had done some little act of service, such as watering the flowers, and no one thanked her, it was a full-scale drama for her. If by chance she had hurt someone she loved, she cried about it, and then, as she says, “cried for having cried.” “I was so oversensitive that I was unbearable.”

She was “enclosed in a narrow circle that she could not get out of.”

Yet at the same time she had a very deep life of prayer and a true desire for holiness. It took the grace of Christmas 1886 to sort out this tangle, so to speak. I shall say a little about it here, and invite you to read the passage where she describes it.

Briefly, then, after Communion at Midnight Mass, our Lord inspired Thérèse to make an act of courage to overcome her hypersensitivity. The youngest of the Martin girls, she was still treated rather like a child: at Christmas, there were gifts left for her by the fireplace, and so on.

Their father, Mr. Martin, despite his affection for his youngest child, was beginning to be a little tired of all this. The comment escaped him, “This is the last time, luckily!”

Thérèse heard this and it hurt her terribly; she was tempted, as usual, to cry like a child, which would have spoilt the whole family’s Christmas.

She tells how she received a grace at that moment which can be understood as follows. It was as if God made her understand, “That’s it, finished.”

She received a sort of intuition, like a call from the Holy Spirit: “No, Thérèse, that childishness is over, you can’t let yourself go and spoil Christmas for the others!” That is not exactly what the text says, but I think that’s what it means.

So she made an act of courage: she acted as though nothing had happened, looked as joyful and happy as she could, unwrapped her presents with laughter and thanks, and, astonishingly, was cured from that moment on.

She herself says she recovered the strength of mind she had lost at the age of four when her mother died, an event that traumatized her and lay at the root of all her emotional fragility.

After that, she was able to enter Carmel and embark on her wonderful, courageous way of life, undertaking a “giant’s race,” as she puts it.

I am telling you this to help you understand something:

It may happen that God works a deep cure in us through totally insignificant events. Sometimes we are called by God to come out of ourselves, to take several steps forward, to become more adult and free.

We turn round and round inside ourselves, enclosed in our immaturity, complaints, lamentations, and dependencies, until suddenly a day of grace arrives, a gift from God, who nevertheless also calls upon our freedom.

We have a choice to make, for it is at the same time a cure and a conversion: our freedom has to opt for an act of courage.

Making an act of courage even over some very small thing, which is what God is asking of us, can open the gate to in-depth cures, to a new freedom granted us by God.

We all need cures in order to become more adult in the faith, to be courageous in waging the battle that we must wage in the Church today. To be a Christian in this day and age is not easy.

We will receive the courage and strength it requires if we can say yes to what God asks of us.

So let’s put this question to God: “What is the ‘yes’ you are asking me for today? The little act of courage and trust you’re calling me to make today?” What is the little conversion, the door that opens to let in the Holy Spirit? For if we make it, God’s grace will visit us and touch us in the depths of our being.

I am convinced that many of us will receive new strength from God. The door through which this strength enters us is the “yes” we say to our Lord to something he asks of us—something perhaps very small, perhaps rather more important, according as he gives us to understand.

“At a certain moment when going to confession to a Capuchin father, St. Therese came to understand that it was just the opposite: her “defects did not displease God” and her littleness attracted God’s love, just as a father is moved by the weakness of his children and loves them still more as soon as he sees their good will and sincere love.” -Fr. Jacques Philippe,The Way of Trust and Love, Painting by Millie Childers

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These are the stairs in the childhood home of Saint Thérèse of Lisieux. Her mother, Saint Zélie shared a story about the way young Thérèse would climb the stairs.
“”I hear the baby calling me Mama! as she goes down the stairs. On every step, she calls out Mama! and if I don’t respond every time, she remains there without going either forward or back.”
So on every step, Zélie would tenderly reply “Yes, my child.”
Now I will be fully honest with you here. As a mama to three kids five and under, my knee jerk reaction was “Dear Lord Baby Jesus, ain’t nobody got time for that.”
But then I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I thought about the heart of this Saint who was raising a Saint. I thought about how maybe she had to sigh deeply between each response, but she mustered up that patience because the opportunity to love someone is too important to pass up.
I think what Zelie understood is that love is an urgent calling. Think she knew that making sure that the people in our lives are intimately loved is a critical part of them experiencing Divine love. I think Zelie knew that when we lovingly speak to others, we are echoing the Father’s voice.
Each “yes my child”, was a reflection of God’s love on every step. Because no matter how many times we call out to the Lord, He faithfully hears us.
Credit for this post hoes to Lauren Winter:

Happy Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux! Dear Little Flower, pray for us! Follow this link for instructions on how to make the Sacrifice Beads, invented by St. Therese!

A coloring page for your little people….

A conference by Bishop Fulton Sheen:

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Our Best Friends, The Angels ~ Maria Von Trapp, Fr. Paul O’Sullivan

 Happy Feast of the Guardian Angels! The spiritual world is very alive, very real!! Let’s not forget these angels and the role they have in our lives!

From Around the Year With the Trapp Family by Maria Von Trapp


Long before our little children learn to know Peter Rabbit, Donald Duck, Mickey Mouse, and Winnie the Pooh, they must be made familiar with their most faithful companion–their best friend, their guardian angel. The beauty of telling stories to little ones lies in their ready acceptance. They believe that their guardian angel is around all the time, day and night, and they will talk to him, greeting him in the morning, discussing things with him during the day, thanking him in the evening. When children grow up with a strong sense of a spiritual power at their service, instituted by God for the very special and sole purpose of being their very own helper and protector, such children need never be afraid, need never suffer from the modern ailment of insecurity. It is up to us mothers to bring about this early and very personal friendship with their guardian angel. The feast of the Holy Guardian Angel on October 2nd should be a big event in our nurseries. Once children are familiar with the world of the angels they will eagerly listen to other “angel stories” such as the one about the great hero Michael (whose feast day is September 29th) and his battle with his brother-angel Lucifer, who refused to serve God and had to be thrown out of heaven into the abyss where there is “weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth.” A beautiful story is the one about the Archangel Raphael (feast day, October 24th), who was the friend and companion of young Tobias. Johannes Brahms set a lovely song about St. Raphael to music; we always sing it on that day. And as we tell the children about the good angels, we shall also have to mention the bad ones who turned into devils. If the highest of them, Satan himself, dared to tempt Our Lord, who are we to think that it “can’t happen to us” or that such stories belong to the Middle Ages and do not apply to modern times? What St. Peter says to all of us we must tell to the little ones as well “Watch and pray, for the devil goes about like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.”
From An Easy Way to Become a Saint, Fr. Paul O’Sullivan


One of the most marvelous dispensations of God’s Providence is the fact that He has given to each one of us a special Angel to watch over us. At the moment of our birth God calls one of His glorious Princes, one of His mighty Angels, and bids this Angel guard and guide, defend and protect us. From that moment, this mighty Angel gives us all his loving care. He never leaves us, night or day. His duty after loving God is to love us. He devotes all his intelligence, all his strength, all his care to shield us from hurt and harm. We can form no idea of the evils and dangers he saves us from, the countless great favors he has done us and is doing us every day. Not content to use all his own power to help us, he is constantly praying for us to God. Reading the story of St. Raphael in the Sacred Scriptures, we marvel at the infinite goodness of God in sending this great Angel to accompany the young Tobias on his long journey. The Angel proved to be a trusty friend. He not only accompanied him on his journey, protecting him from every danger, but he also obtained for him a most happy marriage and abundant wealth. He brought him home safely, to the delight of his parents, who were anxiously awaiting his return. As a final gift, he cured Tobias’s old father, who had been blind. Before leaving the now happy family, he revealed himself to them as one of the seven great Angels who stand before the throne of God and bade them bless and thank the Good God who had sent him to them. This is certainly one of the most consoling and wonderful stories in the Bible, revealing to us the infinite sweetness and goodness of God. Yet each one of us has a glorious Prince of Heaven with us, not for weeks or months but for all the long years of our lives, loving us most affectionately, defending us from countless evils and snatching us from dangers that we do not even see. This dear Angel came to us at the moment of our birth and has been with us ever since. He will console us in Purgatory if we go there and will then accompany us to Heaven, where he will be with us forever and forever. We marvel when reading this story of Raphael, but it is a much greater marvel that we have a glorious Angel ever at our sides and yet know and love him so little. Have we ever even thanked God for this astounding proof of His goodness? The culpable neglect of our dear Angel is one of the most lamentable and shameful faults of our life.
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From All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan


“Make friends with the Angels” is the advice which the great Pope, St. Leo, gives every Christian and it is advice that everyone should follow. If we make friends with the Angels —and nothing is easier— we shall receive innumerable and great favors which otherwise we shall never obtain. Our Angel friends, too, will shield and protect us from countless dangers, evils, sickness and accidents which, without their help, we could not possibly avoid. In a word, these all-powerful and loving protectors will secure for us a degree of happiness that, without their assistance, we could not hope for in this vale of tears! Another reason we should make friends with the Angels is that they are our dearest and best friends. A good friend, a friend who is able and always ready to help us, a friend to whom we can have recourse in all our troubles and sorrows, is one of the greatest blessings God can give us. Our human hearts thirst for love and sympathy. Among men we rarely or never find such a friend, but this is not so with the Angels. They are most desirous to be our friends and they love us with all the intensity of their angelic natures. Since they are all-powerful and generous, we can have the fullest confidence in their help and friendship. The one friendship on this Earth that gives us any idea of the love of the Angels is the affection of a mother. This is the purest, the most generous, the strongest of all human loves. The mother loves her children with unbounded affection. God has placed in the mother’s heart an instinct of love so great that it almost borders on the supernatural. She forgets herself and thinks only of her children. She works for them, sacrifices herself for them, and gives them her all. If one of them should fall sick or be plunged into some great sorrow, to that one she devotes a more special gentleness and a more loving care. We sometimes see a frail woman watch by the bedside of her sick child— eating little, resting little, consumed with a poignant anxiety —for ten, twenty or even thirty days, never complaining, and never faltering. When these days of anguish and bitterness are past, this almost superhuman effort, these long, weary vigils,’ seem to have cost her nothing. The mother’s love sustained her. Yet, strong men who lose their sleep for two or three consecutive nights complain that they find it hard to work the following day. If a poor frail mother— she may be young or old, rich or poor, full of weaknesses and imperfections— can rise to such a height of love and abnegation as this, what may we not expect from God’s Angels, who have no defects, no imperfections and who love us with all the mighty power of their glorious angelic natures? The teaching of the Church about the Angels is most beautiful and consoling, but unfortunately many Christians have scant knowledge of the great world of the Angels. They know little about these blessed Spirits, love them little and seldom pray to them. Worst of all, they do not realize their presence. They show no confidence in them, and they do not call on them for help when dangers and difficulties press around. As a result they forfeit a thousand blessings that they might easily enjoy and fall victim to a thousand accidents that they might easily have avoided.
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Simply because many, whose duty it is to teach this most important doctrine are gravely negligent in fulfilling their obligation. First of all, Christian Mothers should instill deeply into the minds of their children a clear, vivid and abiding sense of the presence of their dear Angels. It is not sufficient to give them vague, hazy, insufficient notions of these Blessed Spirits, nor is it enough to teach them to say a short prayer at morning and at night to their Angel Guardians. They should devote much time and much attention to this all-important subject. Children must be taught constantly from their tenderest years to have a real love and friendship for their Angels, to have boundless confidence in them. They must be accustomed to feel and realize the personal presence of their Angels, to call on them in all their fears and troubles. How much better this would be than that the children should have their heads filled with foolish fear of ghosts and hobgoblins as so frequently happens. Mothers who impress on their children this great lesson confer on them inestimable blessings during all the long years of their lives. On the other hand, if they neglect this duty or make light of it, they do a great wrong to their dear ones for they deprive them of the best and most powerful friends. Catechists, too, and teachers of the young in schools, colleges and convents are frequently remiss in teaching those in their charge all about the blessed Angels. The minds of their pupils are developing, and the teaching of the mothers in the home, no matter how good it might have been, must be perfected and developed. Professors of older students, boys and girls, are perhaps greater offenders. They rarely mention the subject of the Angels in their classes. Why? Do not the Angels exist? Are they not our best friends? Is there not much to be said about them? Priests of course can do much to remedy the neglect of parents and teachers by preaching at times on the Angels, by wise counsels in the confessional and by exhorting the faithful to read books on the Angels. Priests who do so receive most striking graces. We need to awaken in our hearts a real love and friendship for the Holy Angels, an abiding confidence in them, and above all to realize and feel vividly the presence of these loving Spirits ever by our sides.

A coloring page for your children:

The Scourging

Christ shrank from pain, but he did not refuse it. Late morning saw him flung against a praetorium pillar, while the hired man of Rome, giant barbarians with a muscle and moral sense of wild beasts, wore themselves out whipping and lashing Jesus near to death. Every thump of the iron-weighted cords tore fresh fed rents in his flesh. Jesus, who the night before had turned wine to blood, now shed that blood like wine poured out.

His body is the chalice of his spilt-out blood, the cup He no longer asks his Father to remove.

When we ask God to relieve our sufferings, He sometimes answers our prayers with more wisdom by letting them continue. To accept pain as Jesus did, is to sanctify it – and myself.

“God has thus put into the hand of the parents at their own hearthstone, a power greater than that which kings and queens wield, and which must issue in either the weal or the woe of their children. It would surely seem to be worth while to make any sacrifice of personal comfort or pleasure—to transmit a legacy of holy memories which shall be through all the years, like a host of pure angels hovering over those we love, to guard and guide them.” J.R. Miller

Now that the weather is cooling, it is a good time to steep some tea, cuddle up to the fire and grab a good book. Visit My Book List for some good reading recommendations….

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

A Book Giveaway! & My 2 New Advent/Christmas Books ~ Coming Soon!

My 2 New Advent Books!! Coming soon! Stay tuned!

First Book: Advent & Christmas Cheerful Chats for Catholic Children

This is a unique book of Advent and Christmas stories and devotions for Catholic children. There is nothing routine and formal about these stories. They are interesting, full of warmth and dipped right out of life. These anecdotes will help children know about God, as each one unfolds a truth about the saints, the Church, the virtues, etc.

These are short faith-filled stories, within the seasons of Advent and Christmas. Each story is followed by a few questions, a prayer, and a short poem enabling the moral of each story to sink into the minds of your little ones.

The stories are only a page long so tired mothers, who still want to give that “tucking in” time a special touch, or pause a brief moment during their busy day to gather her children around her, can feel good about bringing the realities of our faith to the minds of her children in a childlike, (though not childish), way.

There is a small poem and a picture at the end of each story. Through these small stories, parents will sow seeds of our Holy Catholic Faith that will enrich their families!

Second Book: Celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas with Your Family

This practice of doing the Twelve Days of Christmas can change your family’s Liturgical holiday life!

Why? Because it will help you make the Christmas Season festive after Christmas has arrived for those twelve specific days (with Epiphany as the 13th Day of Christmas). Knowing you have prepared for this season of Yuletide when it actually arrives will encourage you to focus on Advent more thoroughly so that once you reach the climax of that Penitential season..Christmas…you will be prepared to truly celebrate this amazing time of the Church’s Liturgical Calendar!

Each day has an activity and a lovely coloring page dedicated to it. The activities are simple and doable.

At the beginning of the book there is a checklist for the supplies so that you can gather them throughout the Advent Season. Then you will have everything ready to make the Twelve (actually thirteen, including Epiphany) Days of Christmas special!

So, when all the songs have stopped on the radio, the decorations taken down, the tree thrown out and red hearts begin to appear as everyone anxiously awaits Valentine’s Day, you and your family will be joyfully giving the Baby Jesus His proper welcome into this world!


And Now…

I’d like to offer you a Book Giveaway!!

The winner will receive these lovely books to add to your book collection!

You will get…

~My Life With Thomas Aquinas, Common Sense from St. Thomas Aquinas for Your Family…articles taken from the Integrity Magazine of the 1950’s.

The first volume of the The Integrity Series, My Life with Thomas Aquinas, is this publisher’s most popular book on everyday American family living. The chapters included are:

*Why Aren’t Americans Contemplative?  *The Age of Lay Sanctity  *Job Hunting and Vocation  *A Christian Abnormal Psychology  *About Television  *Contemporary American Protestantism  *The Science of Temptation  *Catholic Action and Responsibility  *Christian Vocation Guidance  *The Pertinence of Penance  *The Catholic Press Today  *Optimism

~ True Womanhood Maglet (Magazine/Booklet)


Travelers – True Womanhood
The Snug Safety of God’s Love
Before Embarking
Is Order in Your Life Just Around the Corner?
The Kingdom of God is Within You
Character Building – Beautiful Girlhood
The Hail Mary of a Protestant
The Wife Desired is an Inspiration to Her Husband
Learning Life Lessons in the Oddest Places
Family, Fun and Festive Fall
How to Instill Obedience
Purity in Company-Keeping
Accept Him As He Is
Ten Rules to Being Happy Parents
Have You Prayed to St. Gomer Lately?
Seven Days of Prayer for Your Marriage
Sunday Morning Stories – The Two Tears
Recipe – Spicy Chai Tea
Reflections on the Holy Family
Smorgasbord ‘n’ Smidgens


~The Precious Blood and Mother Prayer Booklet, a little book full of beautiful prayers that I have used all through my married life…

Just leave a comment here, and your name will be added! It is always great to hear from you. 🙂

I will announce the winner next Thursday, October 6th!

“There is also the question of time. Where do we find the time to participate in the Church’s liturgical year with our children? Like these other questions, the answer is, we can find it if we plan for it. We can find it quite easily by looking to see where we waste it. Not wasting it is not easy, because the habits of time-wasting, although they are harmless, are hard to break – as I know from experience. Mothers have this struggle all to themselves. It involves such things as the radio (now internet) habit, coffee breaks, long telephone conversations, chatting with neighbors, a heavy involvement in outside activities. Somewhere most American women CAN “find time” to devote to the enriching of their families’ spiritual life. The joyous discovery is that once we have struggled and found the time, tasted and seen how sweet are these pursuits together, we begin to gauge all our doings so that there will be time – because we are convinced there must be.” -Mary Reed Newland


Package Special! The Catholic Boy’s and Girl’s Traditional 30-Day Journals! Let’s keep our youth engaged in the Faith! Let’s teach them how to be organized, how to prioritize, how to keep on top of, first, the Spiritual things in their lives, and then the other daily duties that God requires of them… Available here.

The role of fatherhood — Catholic fatherhood — has been diminished in three ways. First, it has become smaller. Fewer things are defined as a father’s distinctive work. Secondly, fatherhood has been devalued. Third, and most important, fatherhood has been decultured – stripped of any authoritative social content or definition.

The question is, “What do fathers do?” The tragedy of our society is that it can’t answer the question and neither can most Catholics. Forward – thinking Integrity Magazine gives answers:

• Men, Mary, and Manliness
• The Family Has Lost Its Head
• Economics of the Catholic Family
• Afraid to Marry?
• Glorifying the Daily Grind
• The Heroism of the Big Family
• Bringing the Church into Work
• Forward to the Land.
• Holiness for Men
• The Confirmed Hero
• What Is a Grown-up?
• The Father in the Home
• A Man’s Work
• Our Work Can Help Us to Pray
• Money, Money, Money!
• The State, Our Common Good

Archbishop Sheen knew that no matter what our circumstances may be, the deadliest enemy we face is armed not with a gun but with temptation. In dangerous, uncertain times like ours, the Devil lures us quickly into lust, anger, hatred, and despair. Fulton Sheens Wartime Prayer Book will help keep you from these vices so that you, too, can put on the armor of God and triumph over evil in our day.

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support.

Great St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Host, Pray for Us!

Today, Sept. 29th, is the Feast of St. Michael, the Archangel! How much we need his assistance in combating the devil in these days….in all the big things that trouble this world, but also in the little every day ways that he tries to get his licks in. St. Michael, the Archangel, pray for us!

From All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan

The first fact we learn concerning this great Prince is that in the mighty combat which took place in Heaven, when the bad Angels fell away from their allegiance to God, Michael sounded his war cry: “Who is like to God,” and immediately, joined by the good Angels, he drove Satan and his legions from Heaven and plunged them into the depths of Hell.

Next, we hear his praises from no less an authority than his brother Angel, St. Gabriel, who speaking to the Prophet Daniel, says, “Michael, who is your Prince,” “Michael, who is a great Prince created for the children of your people,” and again, “Michael, who is one of the first among Princes.”

St. Thomas says of him, “Michael is the breath of the Redeemer’s spirit who will, at the end of the world, combat and destroy Antichrist, as he did Lucifer in the beginning.”

St. Michael was the protector and defender of God’s chosen people. He came with the Israelites from Egypt and accompanied them through the desert. He it was who gave them, from God, the Ten Commandments, and during the thousands of years that elapsed before the coming of Christ, he was their champion and defender.

Though express mention of him is made only a few times, yet owing to his office as their appointed friend and defender, we know that he never abandoned God’s people but took an important part in all that concerned them.

He is now the defender of the Catholic Church and of all the faithful, whom he defends against the constant assaults of the devil.

He is invoked in sickness and most especially at the hour of death, when his “all— powerful” help is so much needed, for then it is that Satan makes his last and fiercest attack on the Christian soul, seeking with craft and cunning, with fears and despair lo drag it down to Hell.

In the prayers said by the priest and people after Mass, there is a special and beautiful prayer to St. Michael imploring his help for the Church. It runs as follows: Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in the day of battle; be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan and with him all the wicked spirits, who wander through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

We should make it a sacred duty to join fervently in this important prayer.

In our morning and evening prayers we invoke St. Michael when saying the Confiteor, but we should try to do so with more devotion and confidence. Many do not even think of what they are saying.

St. Michael has been honored from the earliest times in many countries.

The Emperor Constantine, grateful for the victories gained over his enemies, which he attributed to the protection of St. Michael, built a magnificent church near Constantinople in honor of the Archangel which he called Michaelion.

It became a place of pilgrimage, and many sick and infirm were cured in it by the intercession of the Archangel.

Constantine’s successors erected no less than fifteen churches in Constantinople itself to St. Michael.

In Rome, churches were also built and dedicated to St. Michael as far back as 494 A.D. The Archangel appeared to the Bishop of Siponto, on Monte Gargano, in the Kingdom of Naples, where a beautiful church was dedicated lo him. This became a place of great devotion and attracted many pilgrims.


Mont St. Michel, France

In France, he appeared on Mont St. Michel, where there still exists a famous sanctuary consecrated to the Archangel.

In Egypt, the Christians dedicated their food-giving river, the Nile, to St. Michael, and on the 12th of every month they held a special celebration in his honor, and this celebration was kept with marked solemnity in the month of June, when the river begins to rise.

When Germany was converted, the cult to the pagan god Woden was replaced by devotion to St. Michael, and as a result there are to be seen numerous chapels dedicated to the Archangel in the mountain districts of that country.

In England, the feast of Michaelmas used to be celebrated with great rejoicing, the favorite dish of the day being the roast goose. Now it is mainly known as a legal term, the day marking what is called in law, the Michaelmas term.

St. Michael has appeared at different times to those who needed his help and invoked his aid. A most notable example was when he assisted St. Joan of Arc in the extraordinary mission given her by God of aiding the French King to restore peace and prosperity to his kingdom and expel his enemies from its shores.


We read in The Book of Similitudes of St. Anselm that a religious of this monastery, on the point of death, was dreadfully assaulted by the devil, who reproached him at first because of the sins he had committed previous to his Baptism, for the monk had received this Sacrament when already advanced in years.

The poor man knew not how to reply and was very much troubled until St. Michael, who had come to his assistance, answered that all the sins he had committed before Baptism were remitted in that Sacrament.

The evil spirit then urged several sins of his committed after Baptism.

The Archangel replied that these had been washed away in the general confession he made before his religious profession, and that the dying man should trust in the divine mercy.

Satan at last opposed to him the many offenses and negligences in his life subsequent to religious profession.

As the good monk said nothing in defense, St. Michael declared that all his sins were forgiven him, because he had confessed them and satisfied for them by good works, especially by obedience, and that if anything remained it was expiated by his patience under the sufferings of a sickbed.

At these words the devil departed in confusion, and the good religious, with confident hope, meekly gave up his soul to God.

We all must die, and we all must be prepared for the fierce attacks of the devil at this dreadful hour. Hence every Christian should make sure of having St. Michael’s help at the hour of death. This we can do by being devoted to the great Archangel during our lives.


The King of Dacia, Mulhoares, was gravely ill and suffered all the more because he had no heir to his throne. His children had all died.

He was counseled to have recourse to St. Michael.

The King followed this sage advice, and some time after twins were born to his wife. Alas, a new trial awaited him. These children also died!

Full of lively faith, the King ordered the bodies of the children to be taken to the church and placed before the altar of St. Michael, and he and his people besought the great Archangel to come to their aid.

Lo, St. Michael appeared and spoke lo the King: “I am Michael, whom you and your people have invoked, and I have presented your petition to God who is pleased to restore life to your children. Behold them alive, and I and the other Angels will watch over them. God wishes, too, to cure you, but you must thank the Angel who is Prince of your kingdom. That you may love him, I will now show him to you.”

A most beautiful Angel then appeared, clothed in royal robes, with a crown of gold on his head. He blessed the King, who was instantly restored to health.


1st. By frequently repeating this short prayer: “Glorious St. Michael, Prince of the Heavenly Court, pray for us now and at the hour of our death.”

2nd. By invoking his aid in sickness.

3rd. If we find it hard to conquer a temptation, or correct some fault, let us pray to St. Michael, who will assuredly help us to overcome the most violent temptation —and the most inveterate.

4th. By having a little picture of St. Michael in our prayer— book, saying each time we see it, “Glorious St. Michael, I love you.”

Sanctity is found by doing the duties that unfold before us each day – doing our housework, raising children, taking care of parents as they age, paying those bills that are ever with us, helping neighbors, and practicing our Faith. The formula for holiness doesn’t need to be searched for; it finds you, in the duties that come up each day in the path of ordinary life. -Finer Femininity, Painting by Morgan Weistling



St. Michael, St. Gabriel & St. Raphael
They 1. Combat Satan. 2. Escort the faithful to heaven at their hour of death. 3. Be a champion of all Christians & the Church itself. 4. Call men from life on Earth to their heavenly judgment.…/…/all-images-angels

St. Therese’s Feast Day coming up on October 3rd!

Beautiful St. Therese Apron!

Available here.


St. Therese Graceful Religious Pendant….Wire-Wrapped, Handcrafted. Available here.

St. Therese Graceful Religious Earrings…Available here.


Saints Zelie and Therese Graceful Religious Pendant and Earring Sets…Wire-Wrapped, Handcrafted

Available here.



Do you need some good reading suggestions? Visit My Book List.




St. Michael & Our Guardian Angels

The Feast of St. Michael is tomorrow and the Feast of the Guardian Angels is Oct. 2nd. We must not forget these Mighty Messengers and Helpers that God has given us. We need to make our children aware of who these Angels are and how we can invoke their help for whatever little or big need we have!

From The Year and Our Children, Mary Reed Newland

St. Michael the Archangel (September 29)

Pope Pius XII made St. Michael the patron of policemen in 1950. He is also the patron of coopers, hat makers, swordsmen, haberdashers, dashers, and grocers, and is invoked for a happy death. That magnificent edifice, Mont-Saint-Michel, was built “at the cost of great hardship” after he had appeared in a vision to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, during the eighth century.

He pointed to the rock rising out of the sea, said that it was under his special protection, and requested that a church be built in his honor there. This is the only reasonable explanation for why anyone would ever try to build a church there. That it is of such enduring beauty is due to him also, without doubt.

A mobile with St. Michael hanging high and Lucifer at his feet with the flames of Hell around him would be a stirring decoration for this feast, with, of course, Michaelmas daisies on the table.

Michaelmas Daisies

These are common weeds to most people, but if you look them up at the same time you look up St. John’s wort, you will know which are to be picked for this day.

We should be sure to know the prayer to St. Michael recited at the end of each Mass, and recite it on his feast.

The Guardian Angels (October 2)

It is generally agreed that all Christian communities, countries, families, dioceses, churches, and religious houses have each their Guardian Angel, and St. Francis de Sales wrote that bishops have another other angel as such, in addition to their Guardian Angel.

We can add more angels to the mobile** on this day, one for each in the family (make them very simple shapes, recognizable by a sweep of wings), and write the name of each person on an angel.

“Dear Angel, Ever at My Side” is a simple hymn for children to be found in the Pius X Hymnal, and a few days’ practice ahead of time would prepare us to greet our angels with this at the feast-day dinner in their honor.

An Angel Pie is a luscious dessert we could make as a climax. A recipe for meringue, a half-pint (or more if you are a big family and need two pies) of whipping cream, and fresh or canned fruit, drained, are the ingredients.

You bake the meringue in a pie tin instead of in individual portions, whip the cream very stiff, fold in the fruit, pile it in the shell and serve.

**During the preparation for the feast, children can learn the gifts and fruits by making their own mobiles with wire clothes hangers. Tie a wire clothes hanger to a string, use it as is or bend it into an interesting shape, or suspend additional hangers from it.

Let the children cut doves, candles, flames, circles, or other shapes from heavy paper and letter on them the gifts and the fruits. Suspend pend them at varying heights with black threads, sometimes with small objects to weight them so they will swing slowly in space.

A few thoughts by Fr. John Mitchelle, LC:

In the Catechism, we read: “From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by the watchful care and intercession of the angels. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life”

Our angel goes before us and knows the way that leads to life, the path that leads to the spiritual place that God has prepared for each one of us. We are called to listen to his voice and heed it. When we disobey and rebel, we are refusing and rebelling against God’s will.

Our Guardian Angel has been granted authority and power. At the same time, no angel, good or evil, can force us to do something against our will. Good angels present good things to our minds, evil angels present evil disguised as good.

Today’s psalm recalls that God has given knowledge to each good angel about us. With this knowledge they can guard us in all of our ways. They can direct us into the way of salvation and peace. But in the end, we are the ones who choose good or evil, we are the ones who choose either to act as free children of God or to abuse our freedom by choosing evil. When we listen to our guardian angel we are assured of God’s protection from our enemies and foes.

Our knowledge of the angels is very imperfect. Here on earth, we can only distinguish them in a general way. In heaven, we will know them distinctly. We will see their relation to God and how they have acted to bring about God’s loving plan.

Based on Scripture, Sacred Tradition and Sacred Theology distinguish nine choirs of angels. These nine choirs, organized in three sets of three, are a reflection of the Trinity: the first three choirs are closest to God and contemplate him and the goal of his creation; the next three choirs consider what is to be done to reach this goal; the last three choirs apply this knowledge to God’s effects.

Of those angels who apply this knowledge in a practical way, the Principalities are said to hold the highest place. Their role is compared that of generals and officers in battle. Our guardian angels belong to the lowest choir, because they are the ones who carry out what is to be done.

Our veneration of the Holy Guardian Angels today fills us with gratitude, for we have a heavenly protector who enlightens us, defends us, guides us, and intercedes for us.

The contemplation of God’s creation, both visible and invisible, fills us with wonder and awe – for there are things we will see in heaven which surpass our imagination and are more beautiful than anything here on earth. Lastly, we are filled with hope, for we know that the history of the world is in God’s hands and that the heavenly hosts of heaven work tirelessly to accomplish God’s merciful and loving plan.

An excellent book that changed my way of looking at the Angels, realizing their powerful intercession, is All About the Angels by Fr. Paul O’ Sullivan , written in 1871.

Review: “A wonderful book showing how the angels have visited people innumerable times in the past, how they do so today, and would do even more if we asked them. Also, how they prevent accidents, comfort us, help us, and protect us from the devils. Contains many beautiful stories about St. Michael, St. Raphael and St. Gabriel; plus, angel stories from St. Gemma Galgani, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. John Bosco, etc. One of our 3 most popular titles!”

Make sure your children are experiencing life outside the realm of technological devices. Playing in the dirt, making sandcastles, climbing trees are important to a child’s growth….much more important than having them glued to a device. – Finer Femininity

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A masterpiece that combines the visions of four great Catholic mystics into one coherent story on the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Based primarily on the famous revelations of Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich and Ven. Mary of Agreda, it also includes many episodes described in the writings of St. Bridget of Sweden and St. Elizabeth of Schenau. To read this book, therefore, is to share in the magnificent visions granted to four of the most priviledged souls in the history of the Church.

In complete harmony with the Gospel story, this book reads like a masterfully written novel. It includes such fascinating details as the birth and infancy of Mary, her espousal to St. Joseph and her Assumption into Heaven where she was crowned Queen of Heaven and Earth.

For young and old alike, The Life of Mary As Seen by the Mystics will forever impress the reader with an inspiring and truly unforgettable understanding of the otherwise unknown facts concerning Mary and the Holy Family. Imprimatur.

He was called the man of his age, the voice of his century. His influence towered above that of his contemporaries, and his sanctity moved God himself. Men flocked to him–some in wonder, others in curiosity, but all drawn by the magnetism of his spiritual gianthood. Bernard of Clairvaux–who or what fashioned him to be suitable for his role of counseling Popes, healing schisms, battling errors and filling the world with holy religious and profound spiritual doctrine? Undoubtedly, Bernard is the product of God’s grace. But it is hard to say whether this grace is more evident in Bernard himself or in the extraordinary family in which God choose to situate this dynamic personality. This book is the fascinating account of a family that took seriously the challenge to follow Christ… and to overtake Him. With warmth and realism, Venerable Tescelin, Blesseds Alice, Guy, Gerard, Humbeline, Andrew, Bartholomew, Nivard and St. Bernard step off these pages with the engaging naturalness that atttacks imitation. Here is a book that makes centuries disappear, as each member of this unique family becomes an inspiration in our own quest of overtaking Christ.

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Making Friends of Books ~ Beautiful Girlhood

by Mabel Hale, Beautiful Girlhood, 1920’s

“Of making many books there is no end.”

Who would not count it an honor to have among her friends the wisest, noblest, and best of earth, and have their friendship so intimate that at any time she might go to them and converse with them and have their opinions upon the matters of importance?

If only one such friend were yours or mine, should we not feel honored indeed, and would we not cultivate that friendship that if possible our lives might be brightened by the association? I am certain that each one of us would feel just such an interest in so exalted a friendship.

Would you be surprised if I should tell you that such a friendship is possible, not only with one or two superior persons, but with all the wisest and best of all time? That is the fact in the case.

We are all provided with means by which we may become acquainted with those who have moved earth’s masses most, whose lives have influenced most people for good, knowing the very motives and desires of their hearts and learning exactly what their opinions were or are.

The medium for all this wonderful knowledge is the printed page. Through books we may, very intimately, know the wisest and best. I may take a book and go into the quietness of my room and there read, as a great personal letter, what the author has to say, and there compare his views with those of others and with my own, gathering wisdom for my personal store. What a privilege this!

It is said that a person becomes like his friends. This is a very truthful saying, for association makes a great difference in the life of anyone. Especially is this true of the young.

Boys and girls in the teens will almost certainly be like those with whom they most intimately associate, especially if they have chosen their associates. Like begets like, and we naturally seek out and enjoy those who are congenial to us, passing by those whose tastes and manners are offensive.

It is not only the personal touch that makes this likeness, but the exchange of ideas. By the interchange of thought and expression all become to a great extent one, each giving to the other something of himself, and receiving to himself of the other.

What is true of personal friendships is also true of book friendships. If I choose only the books that I like to read, and after a while give you a list of those books, you can know, though you never see me face to face, just what kind of person I am, just how my thoughts run, and what I admire most in people and things.

And if I habitually choose books that I believe will be the best for me, and read them carefully until I understand them and make their thoughts my own, I will in time become like those books in thought, and will be lifted out of the rut I naturally would have run in.

When a girl chooses her friends she should as much as possible select those who will be a help to her. If she chooses the quiet, modest, sincere, earnest girls for her friends, she will become like them; but if her friends are mostly the thoughtless, giddy kind, though she had been a reasonably sensible girl in the beginning, she will soon be as her companions.

So it is with books. If a girl will choose her books from those whose ideals are high and whose language is pure and clean, unconsciously she will mold her life like to those portrayed in the books she reads; but if her book friends are the giddy, impure, unchaste kind, you may be certain that the girl will become like them.

I have heard the assertion that to go to any girl’s bookcase and there study for a little while the books she reads, will give to one a true estimate of that girl’s character, and I believe this is in the main true.

If a girl is interested in history she may have at her command the works of educated men who have made history a special study, and there she may seek out just what they have learned on the particular point that interests her. If she is interested in science, medicine, art, chemistry, music, or business, in books she can find the thoughts and conclusions of those who have made these a life study.

Every girl likes in one way or another the social side of life. By going to the proper kind of authors she may get glimpses of and even come into intimate acquaintance with, the lives of the purest and noblest of earth. She can through her book friends converse with people of the highest and noblest ideals. Or she may seek out those whose lives are foul and bitter and enter with them into their dark deeds, smudging her young heart with the worst sins of the world.

I believe every girl would be able to choose rightly if, when she begins a book, she would ask herself these questions: Would I like to read this book aloud to my mother? Would I feel honored in intimately knowing the people of this book in real life? Would pure society approve of the conduct of these story-people? Can I profitably make my life pattern after the ideals I here find? Would the reading of this book help me to better serve my Lord?

If these questions can be answered in the affirmative, then she may safely read the book; but if not, even though the book is very enticing, let her put it away, for it is poison.

The reading of love stories in which the lovers have secret meetings in dark and lonely places, embrace and caress each other, and whose acts stir the fever of romance and imagination of the reader, is very detrimental to young girls, and is good for no one.

Stories of murder and crime that stir the mind with horror or excitement, or that make heroes of evil characters, are not good for the young people. It is almost as bad to read books that make you intimate with bad characters as to make personal friends of that sort of people.

In both you learn their intimate thoughts and motives, and will condone their wrongs if their personality has appealed to you. More or less, my young reader, you will be like these people whom you admire and like to read about.

Light, frivolous reading brings the brain into a condition where it is almost impossible for it to grasp and hold weighty matter. When the girl who habitually reads novels undertakes to read anything that requires thought, she seems to be only uttering words, and not comprehending a thing. She will throw the book down and say, “It is not interesting, and I see nothing in it.”

But let her keep at the heavier reading, going over and over the same paragraph or chapter till she does understand it—she will in time become able to grasp the thoughts as she reads. And if she keeps on at the deep reading, she will lose her appetite for the light stuff; it will seem chaffy and foolish to her.

It will not hurt any girl to read a few stories; and, in fact, if the right kind of stories are chosen she will learn much that is useful and good through story reading. But she who wishes to become educated and make her reading a means of culture must select the greater portion of her books from those authors who deal with facts in life.

Works of history, biography, and other branches of learning are good for all. Books of travel are very good, for they make one acquainted with the people of other lands. In the great field of choice, pick out those book friends that will widen the outlook and lift up the standards of life.

Books can be the greatest of blessing in the life of a girl, or they can become her curse. Which will you have them to be in yours?

“We can change the world within our own families. We do not need heroic deeds, exceptional intelligence or extraordinary talents. Every day, our daily duties, our interactions with our family, our living out the Faith in the small ordinary things, will be the thread that weaves the beautiful rug that future generations will be walking upon and building upon….” -Finer Femininity

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With his facile pen and from the wealth of his nation-wide experience, the well-known author treats anything and everything that might be included under the heading of home education: the pre-marriage training of prospective parents, the problems of the pre-school days down through the years of adolescence. No topic is neglected. “What is most praiseworthy is Fr. Lord’s insistence throughout that no educational agency can supplant the work that must be done by parents.” – Felix M. Kirsch, O.F.M.

Necessary advice to Catholic parents building a Catholic home. Reliable advice that is almost completely lost today, from people who know how it’s done. How to make it. How to live it. How to keep it. This book covers every aspect of Catholicizing your home–from spiritual matters like prayer and catechism to nuts and bolts topics like Keeping the Family Budget, Games and Toys, Harmony between School and Home, Family Prayers, Good Reading in the Home, Necessity of Home Life and much more

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Fantasy or Sacred Duty/My Personal Vocation ~ Christ in the Home

by Fr. Raoul Plus, S.J., Christ in the Home


In his interesting book, “Man the Unknown,” Alexis Carrel makes this statement:

“Each individual is set by the conditions of his development upon the road which will lead him either to the solitary mountains or to the mud of the swamps where humanity contents itself.”

If not rightly understood, this statement might imply that, by a sort of pre-established harmony over which we have no control, we are inevitably directed in spite of ourselves either toward the heights or toward the lowlands.

It could be that because of inherited tendencies, family traditions, examples we may have witnessed, or the training we have received, we are more strongly drawn either to laziness or to generosity. However, everyone has the duty on his own responsibility to make himself what he ought to be.

The problem of salvation and the degree of sanctity to be attained is essentially an individual problem. We save ourselves or we damn ourselves; we conquer ourselves or we let ourselves be conquered–these are all personal verbs.

“Everyone has the duty,” that is the reality. It is not a matter of satisfying a fantasy, a more or less poetic taste for the heights. So much the better if the heights tempt me! So much the worse for me if I am the prey of a positive spirit of low ideals.

I do not have to strive for the Christian ideal simply because of a certain forceful subjective attraction. No, I have an obligation to strive for it and this obligation springs from the Gospel command, a command given to all, Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Am I perhaps too much in the habit of seeing in the Gospel only the restrictions it imposes upon me? Of viewing religion from the negative side? I must accustom myself to consider the Gospel from the positive aspect–the call to sanctity. The capital problem for the Christian who wants to be a real Christian is not the problem of sin but the problem of perfection.

Not to fall back!

Much more and much better–to rise.

In the “Journal of Salavin” by George Duhamel, Salavin laments in self-disgust, “How can one resign himself to being only what one is and how try to be other than what one is.” Then he declares:

“After some indefinite time, I am going to go away.”

“And where are you going?”


Evading–when it should be a matter of ascending.

For me as a Christian, the road is known. I know where to go. And the instructions are clear. Someone expressed them in three points:

  1. To commit this year the least number of sins possible.
  2. To acquire this year the most virtues possible.
  3. To do to others the most good possible.

Here is a program that will not only avoid the abyss but lead to the heights.


Nothing is more interesting and at the same time more stirring than to study my particular role in the eternal destinies of the world . . . what God from all eternity has planned for me . . . what kind of saint He wants me to be . . . by what combination and sequence of circumstances He established me where I am . . . all He has given me–a Christian country, a Christian family, a Christian education, numberless graces exterior as well as interior, the Sacraments, interior inspirations, invitations to mount spiritually–and then to discover in what degree He intends to use me to lead other souls to salvation and perfection.

Religion in spirit and in truth–what is it? It consists in participating in the very sanctity of God Himself in my own personal life, and in cooperating with God to bring grace into the lives of others and to help keep them to grow in the divine life.

There is no question then of eternity forcing its way into my existence without my opening the door to it; it permeates me from within in keeping with the freedom I give it.

Nor must I be aiming only at my own sanctification. I have the responsibility of souls, not only the souls of my own but of multitudes who are in some way connected with my soul. The salvation of the world depends in part on the saint that I become.

One author puts this thought very well. “Each being in the universe must act with the consciousness of having been chosen for a task that he alone can accomplish. As soon as he discovers what this task is and he begins to dedicate himself to it, he can be sure that God is with him and that He watches over him. Let him be full of confidence and joy! He is associated with the work of creation.”

And we might add “with the work of redemption.” This ought to be a continual marvel to him that weak and sinful though he knows himself to be he is nonetheless called, unquestionably called, to an action of unique value, to the exaltation of the divine in himself and the propagation and the extension of the divine in humanity!

I ought to try to realize ever more deeply the tremendous significance of my personal vocation; to consider the degree and the kind of sanctity to which I am called; to measure the extent of the field where my zeal for souls is to labor–the family, the parish, the city….

Everything in my life should be referred to God. As Saint Augustine said, “Totum exigit te qui fecit te, He from whom you received all things demands all.” I must therefore make the gifts He bestowed on me serve for His glory alone. I should not deny these gifts, nor store them away; on the contrary, I should exploit them, but for Him.

To quote Saint Augustine again, “Let everything useful that I learned as a child be consecrated to Your service, O my God. Let it be for Your service that I speak, that I read, that I write, that I count!”

He did not renounce the use of his mind, the exercise of his intelligence, the application of his profane sciences but he subordinated all to spreading the glory of God and extending his apostolate for souls.

I can be inspired to a like rule of life. I can use human gifts as well as divine gifts to attain the highest peak of my vocation. I am not what my neighbor is and my neighbor is not what I am. I have a role to fill and no one else but me can fill it.

I must know my capital and prudently determine my investments.

There is a difference between disobedience and “not paying attention,” and it’s very easy to fall into this trap and hand out punishment when it really isn’t due. Disobedience is a form of rebellion. Not paying attention is a very human weakness (which, I grant you, needs correction, but doesn’t belong in this class). -Mary Reed Newland, How to Raise Good Catholic Children

Here is a simple outline to ensure we are carrying out our daily duties as best we can on this road we travel as Catholic women. This is my own list of what I deem the basics of a successful day. It is an ideal I strive for. You may have your own plan, and I hope you do. If this can help in any way, then I have accomplished my goal with this video.

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The first of Ronald Knox’s three “Slow Motion” collections, The Mass in Slow Motion comprises fourteen sermons preached during World War II to the students of the Assumption Sisters at Aldenham Park. Modest yet arresting in style, Knox explains the Mass from the opening psalm to the solemn words of conclusion: Ite missa est. While the liturgy Knox contemplates is that of the Tridentine Rite, the abundant fruits of his contemplation can be easily translated to the Ordinary Form of the present day. Indeed, their primary impetus is the powerful portrayal of the continuous action of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, in which formula yields to mystery and man participates in his own salvation.

Along with its “Slow Motion” companions, The Mass in Slow Motion proved the most popular of Knox’s writings. Evelyn Waugh called it “the ideal present for a convert of any age or intellectual equipment.” More than seventy years since it first appeared in print, the truth of these words holds fast: The Mass in Slow Motion is sure to assist any Catholic—let alone any convert—to more worthily and wisely go up to the altar of the Lord.


To trust in God’s will is the “secret of happiness and content,” the one sure-fire way to attain serenity in this world and salvation in the next. Trustful Surrender simply and clearly answers questions that many Christians have regarding God’s will, the existence of evil, and the practice of trustful surrender, such as:

  • How can God will or allow evil? (pg. 11)
  • Why does God allow bad things to happen to innocent people? (pg. 23)
  • Why does God appear not to answer our prayers? (pg. 107)
  • What is Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence? (pg. 85) and many more…

This enriching classic will lay to rest many doubts and fears, and open the door to peace and acceptance of God’s will. TAN’s pocket-sized edition helps you to carry it wherever you go, to constantly remind yourself that God is guarding you, and He does not send you any joy too great to bear or any trial too difficult to overcome.


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